Denny Hamlin won the Daytona 500 on Monday evening, but his victory was clouded by the horrifying crash involving Ryan Newman.
Newman, driving the No. 6 car, was out in front in the final lap, but crashed after Ryan Blaney, driving the No. 12 car, hit him. Newman's car turned, flipped upside down and then slid on the track for a long time.
NASCAR announced shortly after 10 p.m. E.T. on Monday that Newman was in "serious condition." Thankfully, his injuries are not believed to be life threatening.
"But doctors have indicated his injuries are not life threatening," his team said in a statement. "We appreciate your thoughts and prayers and ask that you respect the privacy of Ryan and his family during this time. We appreciate your patience and cooperation and we will provide more information as it becomes available."
Hamlin, whose team initially celebrated their victory before realizing the severity of Newman's crash, posted a statement on Twitter.
"First a foremost I want to give well wishes and prayers to Ryan Newman. I had absolutely NO IDEA of the severity of the crash until I got to victory lane. There’s very little communication after the finish and i had already unhooked my radio. It’s not anyone’s fault," he tweeted.
Team owner Joe Gibbs also apologized.
“I knew that there was a (wreck), but I never even focused over there (by Newman’s car),” Gibbs said.
“I was focused on our car, and everybody started celebrating it around us. So I said to everybody out there, some people may have saw us and said, ‘Well, these guys are celebrating when there’s this serious issue going on.’ So I apologize to everybody, but we really didn’t know. We got in the winner’s circle, and that’s when people told us later.”